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Call for Papers – First Amendment Networks: Issues in Net Neutrality

FALROn October 24, 2014, we will be partnering with the First Amendment Law Review to help host their annual symposium, which will be focused on network neutrality and the First Amendment.  We’ll post more information about the symposium in the next few weeks, but if you are a scholar who writes in this area, you may be interested in submitting a paper to the First Amendment Law Review (note: the deadline is October 13).  Here is their call for papers:

The First Amendment Law Review at the University of North Carolina School of Law is delighted to announce a Call for Papers for its Symposium Edition, First Amendment Networks: Issues in Net Neutrality.

The Symposium Edition seeks papers covering the breadth of topics at the intersection of the First Amendment and the current state of network neutrality regulation. The Symposium Edition, in conjunction with the fall symposium at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus, hopes to bring a variety of perspectives from multiple disciplines to bear on the First Amendment freedoms implicated in the net neutrality debate. The Symposium Edition seeks papers primarily with a legal focus, but is interested in outstanding papers also from economics, business, and government which can provide insights into this important discussion. Submissions should be delivered via email to falr@unc.edu by October 13 to be considered for publication.


The First Amendment Law Review (FALR) is a student-edited legal journal that seeks to promote and protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment through publishing scholarly writings on, and promoting discussion of, issues related to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

FALR publishes professional and student articles for the benefit of scholars and practitioners. Professional contributions are composed of scholarly articles, symposium papers, and novel, interesting essays on a variety of issues touching the First Amendment. Student contributions are composed of scholarly examinations of discrete First Amendment topics and recent developments in First Amendment law.

As the only legal journal in the country dedicated to the First Amendment, FALR seeks to provide as broad and inclusive a forum as possible for the discussion of First Amendment issues. To that end, FALR does not apply any strict page or footnote requirements to professional papers, but considers each submission on a case-by-case basis. Substantial weight will be given to those submissions that present a subject in traditional legal journal format: introduction, background, legal analysis, legal argument, and conclusion. While strong preference is given to professional pieces, the editorial board will consider student-written articles.

All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format, 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman. The text itself should be double-spaced; footnotes should be single-spaced. FALR uses The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. All submissions should comply with The Bluebook. For more information on the journal, please visit http://www.law.unc.edu/journals/falr/


The Democratic Surround: New Media Technologies as Tools of Personal and Social Liberation

glimpses-1On March 27th, Fred Turner, associate professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, will visit the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy to talk about his new book, The Democratic Surround.

At the broadest level, in The Democratic Surround and the previously published From Counterculture to Cyberculture Fred Turner’s project is to explain how we have come to see new media technologies as tools of personal and social liberation – not tools of social control.  Indeed, the World War II generation feared that one-way media was creating authoritarian personalities and giving rise to brainwashed fascists. Meanwhile, members of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s adorned themselves with computer punch cards and signs that read “I am a UC student. Please do not fold, bend, mutilate, or spindle me” to protest technocratic society.

The process of culturally revaluing media technologies spanned the 1930s through the 1990s, the period that marked the development of our current technological imaginary (see, for instance, Robin Mansell’s Imagining the Internet.) The Democratic Surround offers a prequel of sorts to From Counterculture to Cyberculture, showing that our own multimedia stylings have a deeper history than the counterculturalists of the 1960s. Turner shows that the countercultural vision of media as, in McLuhan’s terms, “extensions of man,” and tools that can be enlisted in democratic projects of new world making has startling roots in the 1930s and 1940s.  It was a time when the public, leaders, and many scholars feared that mass media propaganda produced mass men, totalitarian societies, and rendered the psyche impervious to reason.  In this world, an enterprising set of artists, intellectuals, and social and political elites turned to media as a potential tool – not of social control, but of democratic liberation.  Together they created multi-media environments suffused with image, music, and architecture. Turner calls these environments “democratic surrounds.”  These individuals believed that surrounds had the power to create democratic personalities – rational and autonomous individuals with firm commitments to racial and religious diversity and democratic solidarity. This new democratic personalities would do battle with authoritarian personalities; to fight fascism required creating new democratic citizens through media.  If propaganda created one-way communication channels that left no room for free thought and fashioned free individuals into automatons, the democratic surround’s immersive media environments fostered democratic citizens who were free to navigate their own way through media.

It was this idea of the surround that Turner tells us migrated from the Second World War to the art worlds of the Cold War.  Intellectuals, artists, and policy makers continued to see the democratic personality as something that needed to be created and nurtured through media, now in the struggle against communism.  At sites such as North Carolina’s Black Mountain College – where John Cage performed the first happening – and the Museum of Modern Art, artists worked out the cultural genres of multi-media surrounds.  By the 1950s, these multi-mediated projects of democratic personality building would make their way to the staging of the 1958 World’s Fair and 1959 American National Exhibition – where Khrushchev and Nixon had their famous “kitchen debate.”

As Turner argues, while the democratic surround was initially aimed at fighting totalitarianism, by the 1950s it quickly bled into a modeling of equally political and consumer choices. It was a particularly influential branch of the counterculture that drew on the media forms and ideas of surrounds during the 1960s. Turner tells this history in From Counterculture to Cyberculture, which traces the emergence of many of the cultural styles, modes of thought, political stances, and collaborative cultures that surround us today from the 1960s on through to the new economy of the 1990s. The “New Communalists” left politics in the streets in the late 1960s and early 1970s and went back to the land carrying commercial technologies and cold war tools to create decidedly new world communes, geodesic domes dotting the landscape.  The Whole Earth Catalog connected these back-to-the-landers, and later it was the early computer network system Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link (WELL) that by the 1980s early adopters in Silicon Valley believed was creating new forms of community, connection, and, shared consciousness.

The WELL did so in a rapidly changing world, one that was marked by the precariousness of labor in the high tech industry of the Valley.  Turner argues that the New Communalist imagination of the computer, and networked media more broadly, as tools of personal and social liberation helped information workers see their labor as liberating and in terms of building new societies. And yet, this cultural scaffolding helped these workers elide all the ways that mediated sociality supported freelance networking for piecework in the Valley. By the early 1990s, a host of media objects such as Wired magazine and the sweeping manifesto A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace distilled the New Communalist vision and extended it into the emerging new economy, creating a cultural framework for the new right’s libertarianism to be wedded to computer cultures. In the 1990s it was the riot of color and font that was Wired, in our own moment it is the colorful countercultural stylings of Google. The feeling of radically new peer-to-peer collaboration present on the WELL is not far from social movements such as Occupy Wall Street that are animated by connective action, consensus-seeking, and non-hierarchical forms. Techno-libertarianism animated back-to-the-landers and underpins many remix, peer, and DIY cultures, as well as social media startups, today.

Through it all, the democratic surround persists as a powerful vision and media form, one that animated many projects to reinvent social and political forms. As Turner tells us, the surround is both a new media genre and a model of organizing societies and working out the relationship of individuals to collectives.  Turner’s book offers a rich vision of our past that sheds new light on our own contemporary media projects, from the forms of organizing and connective action that have powered numerous contemporary projects of collective liberation, to the ways that networked media are entwined with the intractability of institutions and bureaucracies. Turner’s account of the surround in the 1950s is also markedly resonant with our own time – not just for the ways that the counterculture took up the themes of personality, psychological liberation, and new community building that infused early internet imaginaries and continues to do so today, but also how commercialism sits uneasily beside these liberating ideals.


Hearst TV CEO and ABC News President to Headline Inaugural Hargrove Communications Law Colloquium

Hargrove ColloquiumWe are pleased to announce that on November 4, 2013, the Center will host the inaugural Wade H. Hargrove Communications Law and Policy Colloquium. Friends and colleagues of Wade Hargrove established the colloquium to honor Mr. Hargrove, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an accomplished media lawyer, by spurring discussion and debate about national media law and policy issues.

This year’s colloquium speakers will be David Barrett, chairman and CEO of Hearst Television Inc., and Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, who will talk about “The Future of Television News.”  Mr. Barrett and Mr. Sherwood will make brief opening remarks and then engage in a wide-ranging discussion about the challenges and opportunities media companies face in this age of digital convergence.

The colloquium  is free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit our event page.

About David Barrett
David Barrett joined Hearst in 1984 as general manager of the company’s Baltimore radio stations, later assuming general manager responsibility for the Hearst Radio Group, and then for WBAL-TV in Baltimore. He relocated to New York in 1991 as a vice president of Hearst Corporation and deputy general manager of Broadcasting, with operating oversight for the company’s television and radio stations. In 1997, Hearst Broadcasting merged with Argyle Television to form Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., and he was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the new entity. He was named president and chief executive officer in 2001.

Mr. Barrett has been the recipient of numerous industry honors. In 2011 he received the DiGamma Kappa Distinguished Achievement Award in Broadcasting from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, which bestows the annual Peabody Awards, and the First Amendment Leadership Award from The Radio Television Digital News Foundation. In 2008 he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was the recipient of The Media Institute’s American Horizon Award and was also inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Management Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was named Broadcasting & Cable magazine’s “Broadcaster of the Year.”

About Ben Sherwood
Ben Sherwood was named president of ABC News in December 2010. He is responsible for all aspects of ABC News’ broadcasts, including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” In addition, Mr. Sherwood oversees ABC News Radio, ABCNEWS.com, satellite service NewsOne and ABC News NOW. During Mr. Sherwood’s tenure the news division has won the most prestigious honors in the industry, including George Polk, George Foster Peabody, News and Documentary Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, Overseas Press Club, SPJ Sigma Delta Chi and Investigative Reporters and Editors awards.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Sherwood earned a bachelor’s degree in American government and history. From 1986 to 1989, as a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, he earned master’s degrees in British imperial history and development economics.


Symposium will contemplate 50 years of press freedom

Almost 50 years ago, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., writing for the Supreme Court, expressed “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

Tomorrow, the UNC First Amendment Law Review will bring together media law experts to reflect on and debate just how free the press has been to cover and criticize public officials since the landmark ruling in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which established the “actual malice” test. Under the test, a public official suing for libel must prove that defamatory content was published with “knowledge of falsity” or “reckless disregard for the truth.”

As a result of “New York Times Actual Malice,” the press and the public are free to criticize government officials’ and public figures’ job performance, scrutinize their personal lives, and even attack their character.

Some think the Court went too far when it held that falsity was not enough to make a speaker liable for defaming a public official. Others say it hasn’t gone far enough and should protect the publication of any false content when reporting on matters of public controversy.

The First Amendment Law Review Symposium will consist of two panels of First Amendment and media law scholars including:

  • Vincent Blasi, Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties at Columbia Law School
  • Bruce Brown, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Ronald Cass, Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law
  • Stuart Benjamin, Douglas B. Maggs Chair in Law at Duke Law
  • George Wright, Michael McCormick Professor of Law at Indiana University
  • Ashley Messenger, Associate General Counsel for National Public Radio

The event will begin with a keynote address from Ken Paulson, President and CEO of the First Amendment Law Center, followed by a 30 minute Q&A.  The morning panel will then examine the impact of the Sullivan decision on the media, while the afternoon panel will discuss its broader implications on First Amendment jurisprudence.

Visit the event page for more information.


Call for Papers: New York Times v. Sullivan, A Fifty Year Retrospective

FALROn October 12, 2013, we will be partnering with the First Amendment Law Review to help host their annual symposium, which will be focused on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan.  We’ll post more information about the symposium in the next few weeks, but if you are a scholar who writes in this area, you may be interested in submitting a paper to the First Amendment Law Review (note: the deadline is October 1).  Here is their call for papers:

The First Amendment Law Review is hosting its annual symposium in Chapel Hill, NC, on October 12, where scholars from across the country will participate in a discussion focusing on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan. In conjunction with our event, the First Amendment Law Review will also publish a symposium edition featuring articles related to Sullivan’s direct impact on the media, and articles that analyze Sullivan’s effect on a broader scale.

We are seeking articles that will be published in Volume Twelve of the First Amendment Law Review alongside work by some of our symposium panelists, which include Bruce Brown, Vincent Blasi, Ronald Cass, Stuart Benjamin, George Wright, and Ashley Messenger. As the only legal journal in the country dedicated solely to the First Amendment, the First Amendment Law Review is an ideal platform for those looking to contribute to First Amendment scholarship, and we have a tradition of hosting excellent symposia with impressive keynote speakers such as Erwin Chemerinsky and Floyd Abrams. This year, we are pleased to announce that Geoffrey Stone, Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, will give our keynote address.

If you would like to be considered for publication in our symposium edition, please submit an article of at least twenty pages, including footnotes, by October 1 to falr@unc.edu. Those selected for publication will be invited, but not required, to attend our symposium on October 12, and will be recognized at the event.